photo by Jacqui Morley

I wouldn’t usually suggest any secret stuff since lack of openness and downright dishonesty is generally to be found running through families with Addiction like a red stripe through a stick of rock. This characteristic or learned behaviour does not serve us well – except when we flip it and make a positive out of it, thus turning it to our advantage.

We can use psychological tools to help us climb out of our rut. Do you like winning? Me too. Like Baldrick in Blackadder, we need our cunning plan (don’t worry, this cunning plan works better than Baldrick’s track record).

And in a sense, the title “Secret Life” is just to get your attention. I could have called it private life – but perish the thought that I should go there…

As part of your meditation practice (just after) or for 5/10 minutes before you sleep, visualise yourself as someone you admire. What would they do to reconnect with a sense of fun? If you admire a politician, she may not be the best person. Think of someone you know – a funny friend or an athlete – think of their unquenchable lust for life.

Make something beautiful every day. That could be a doodle, a page in a colouring book, some baking, any sort of crafts, or gardening. Why am I including these things as part of your ‘secret life’? Because sometimes, particularly at the beginning of our journey into Recovery, we have to snatch these moments out of the chaos and fog of unhappiness. It’s as though we need to work like stage managers, moving scenery around behind the theatre curtain, until that curtain goes up and we are once more on view.

Make an entry in your Notebook when you make a breakthrough. By this I mean a moment when you realise that your visualisations have led to you behaving differently from before – even if that’s been just for a few seconds or minutes. What we’re looking for here is progress, not perfection.

Remember – do you want this mind of yours to be your master or your servant? If you can start a bit of mind-training, you can begin the process of re-inventing yourself. Think big, dream big. Stand up to the bully of Addiction by moving the goalposts of who you believe you are.

Is it me, or did the sun just break through the clouds?